Cartoon shows a man (labeled “Free World”) gazing in perplexity at a map of Russia on which is superimposed a sphinx. The caption is a statement made by Winston Churchill about the Soviet Union in October 1939 after the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact and the beginning of World War II.
So it is an expression used to refer to something or someone that is really so puzzling and ambiguious because of their contradictory behavior or features. An enigma is used to describe something that is puzzling, or a mystery.
That which is so dense and secretive as to be totally indecipherable or impossible to foretell. It is from a line used by Winston Churchill to describe the intentions and interests of Russia in 1939: “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia.
Famously, Winston Churchill defined Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” and his words in 1939 spoke eloquently to the Western sense of Moscow as the “other” – an inscrutable and menacing land that plays by its own rules, usually to the detriment of those who choose more open regulations.
1 : something hard to understand or explain. 2 : an inscrutable or mysterious person. 3 : an obscure speech or writing.
1 : a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed : conundrum, enigma. 2 : something or someone difficult to understand. riddle .
A conundrum is like a puzzle, or a riddle, or a problem ~ which needs to be solved, or is at least solvable. An enigma , however, is more of a mystery or mysterious phenomenon, which may or may not be solvable.
Conundrum is also used to mean an entertaining riddle with a pun for an answer. The origin of the word conundrum seems to be at Oxford University in the 1590s, as a coined nonsense word. Among the learned at this time, conundrum was a pseudo-Latin word that was used to mean a silly, fussy person .
Enigma is another logical, picture-forming Conceptis puzzle . According to Conceptis, the puzzle was developed originally in Japan and first published by Byakuya Shobo under the name Number Net. There are colour and mono versions, although generally speaking, the mono versions make for better puzzles .